The president of the Philippines just asked for US forces to leave his Southern region. Duterte cites security concerns for both his people and US forces. Duterte also claimed that peace in the Southern portion is unlikely as long as there is a military presence. Relations in East Asia are becoming more complicated all the time it seems. Now, Special Forces have been asked to leave the Philipinnes. Their safety has been cited as a reason. But looking at the broader and larger forces at work, this development does not come as a surprise.

There are some rumors abound, as well as potentially damaging scenarios for the United States. There are many models for development in the world. We’re witnessing leaders struggle to choose one. Democracy and the Western way of life means a system of government and an above board standard to conducting international and domestic business. Then, there is the model propagated by other power, including Russia.

Russia has come to stand for an alternative to the West. From the outside looking in, the West demands quite a bit. Not the least of which their troops, intelligence services, and a robust state department embassy in your country. The United States has the best intentions and co-opts the partnering governments. Seeking to work with other nation states, not against. But, popular sentiment and a feeling of imperialism towards the Americans are commonplace abroad.

The America we experience here and the one perceived abroad are two separate things. Here, it’s our way of life and freedom via democracy. Abroad many come to see us as an efficient killing machine that’s looking for anyone that might do us harm. But we’ve always worked with other nations. We wouldn’t have a nation without the help of other nation states.